Lesson 3 – How to construct a Turnstile block

Constructing a Turnstile Block

What does a Turnstile block look like?  

Lesson 3 – Turnstile Block

This block is a little complex than the last two blocks you made, however this is building up from the pinwheel block you made.  Again please read through and follow the structure and you should have no problems.

Fabric needed:

  • 2 fat quarters of complementary or contrasting colours. 
  • Matching thread.
  • Sewing machine.

Block templates and my selection of fabric:

Cutting your fabric:

Cut out your template as shown below.  As we will need four of each colour fabric I would suggest tracing some more templates on a spare piece of paper.  For example:  For template A:  You may want to trace out two template A’s so when you place on a folded fabric as shown below you will have four pieces of A as required for the design, and the same for templates B and C.

Once the templates are cut out on fabric, set out ready to stitch on the mat as shown below.

Sewing your block:

Get your sewing machine ready with appropriate thread.  I usually like to take my blocks to the sewing machine on my mat  and also have the picture of my finished block next to it (as shown in Lesson 1). This ensures that I don’t make a mistake in sewing the block pieces together.  

You will see that I start the sewing by attaching  the pink and purple triangles together (templates B and C) on the perpendicular side.

Once I sew all the four sets together I flatten them out by ironing.  See picture below.

Then I proceed to join these purple/pink triangles to the dark grey triangles  on the diagonal side to form a square.

Again I flatten these units with an iron and if you notice I have flattened to the dark side.  That is deliberate, the reason being that if I flatten them on the light side you will see the seam from the front side of the block and that makes the block untidy.

Now your squares are ready to be joined.  Use the method of joining the squares as shown in lesson 1. However, do make sure that before you start to join these lay them out to match the picture of your template.  The reason for this is that if you have made any mistakes this would be a good time to correct it :).

When joining the squares together, do make sure that the diagonal lines align as shown below.  Once you have joined both rows of squares its time to join the double square units together.

When joining the double square units, make sure that you have aligned the lines and pin up at the centre.

Before sewing check if the points meet.  If it does not try again.

When sewing please be very careful to see that your stitching line just crosses the points just like shown below.

Check to see again if all points meeting.  If happy, then flatten your block by ironing and that will take care of any bulk in the centre.

Step 5:  and Voila your Turnstile block is ready.

Please feel free to ask me any questions.  Once finished why don’t you add your block on the shared photo album so I can see what you have created.

Next Lesson:  How to construct a Log Cabin Block

Note for participants: all the course material produced on for this course is the property of No 3 Quilt Studio. Please ensure that this material is not distributed without the my permission.

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